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Guthrie comes down with virus, will miss next start

July 11, 2009

By David Driver
For the Tidings
Used with permission

BALTIMORE Jeremy Guthrie said his right shoulder and right arm are fine.

But the Ashland High graduate told reporters here Friday afternoon that the rest of him was feeling pretty lousy, so the right-handed starter will not take his normal turn in the rotation on Sunday when the Orioles host the Blue Jays, in the last game before the Major League all-star break, due to a persistent viral infection.

"This is some type of virus," said Guthrie, who saw a doctor on Thursday and was waiting for more results Friday evening.

"Guthrie has had a virus. He is just not feeling well," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said before his team's 2-0 loss here Friday.

Guthrie lasted just 21/3 innings in his last start, which came on Tuesday at Seattle in a series against the Mariners. He allowed two hits and three runs in that game in which he did not feel well.

Does he know when he may pitch again?

"We have not gotten that far," Guthrie said before Friday's opener of a three-game series with Toronto.

This season he is 6-8 with an ERA of 5.35 in 18 starts, and in 101 innings he has allowed 110 hits, and 20 homers. Last year the former Cleveland Indian pitcher was 10-12, 3.63 in 30 starts for the Orioles.

This season Guthrie, 30, a former standout at Stanford University, has become one of the few veteran pitchers in the starting rotation for the Orioles. The Roseburg native made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2004 and has been with Baltimore since the 2007 season.

"I got some blood work done yesterday, and we're still waiting to hear back from the doctor exactly what his take is on what I have," Guthrie told reporters Friday. "Yesterday, I didn't think there was much improvement, but today, I feel better."

"We are going to give him some time, and hopefully, he gets healthy and gets back," Trembley said of Guthrie. "I would expect he would pitch at some point in the Chicago series, [but] I don't have the rotation yet for the Chicago series."

The Orioles play a series in Chicago against the White Sox after the all-star break.

The Orioles starting rotation took its lumps Friday. Rookie David Hernandez was sent down to Class AA Bowie of the Eastern League to make room for shortstop Cesar Izturis, who came off the disabled list after a rehab assignment at Bowie. Hernandez is slated to pitch Monday at Bowie then head back to Baltimore in order to join the rotation.

Jason Berken, another rookie starter for the Birds, faced Toronto on Friday after several poor outings. But he came through with a solid outing in an effort to keep his place in the rotation by allowing two runs in 52/3 innings though he fell to 1-6 with an ERA of 5.87.

There was even more new Friday for the Orioles, as Trembley began serving a two-game suspension by Major League Baseball after he was ejected in a game at Seattle in which Guthrie pitched on Tuesday. Trembley admitted after Tuesday's game he gave some encouragement during the game to Luke Scott, who came through with a career-high seven RBIs in that contest for the Birds.

Trembley met the media at his normal time before the game in his uniform and said he would be in street clothes for his post-game comments following Friday's game.

Notes: Former Seattle outfielder Adam Jones will be the lone Oriole in the All-Star game Tuesday in St. Louis. "None of it has hit me," Jones said before Friday's game. "I guess it will when I get there Monday." Jones was traded to the Orioles before the 2008 season in a deal that sent pitcher Erik Bedard to the M's ... Toronto rookie Brett Cecil, a former pitcher at the University of Maryland, was the Blue Jays starter on Friday in his first outing at Camden Yards. He grew up watching the Orioles in Baltimore. He did not allow a run in six innings and was the winning pitcher.